Reality Is Weird

Weird

A Christian Apologist shut his mouth, and in doing so, (almost) shut mine.  I found him under the above title, making claims like

Either (1) an infinite and eternal consciousness called God chose to create our universe with a purpose… OR! (2) Our universe randomly appeared out of an infinite and eternal nothingness by itself for absolutely no reason at all. These are the only two reasonable options.

I left him a response that he apparently did not like.  He posed another question, but I could see that he wouldn’t like the answer to it either, and it would cease being a comment, and become a blog-post of its own.  I went back in my ‘notifications’ to pick up the beginning, but he had disappeared.  I accessed his post, and found that he had disabled all comments.  I did not realize that him doing that erased all existing comments on my site.  The following first bit is from fading memory.

Neither of your options is reasonable, and you limit your argument by claiming that there can only be two.  A little thought and research would show that there are more then that.  (1) You have not proved that “God” created the Universe, or that there is/was a purpose. (2) Your random appearance from nothing, for no reason claim is so highly unlikely that no reputable astrophysicist would espouse it.

Can you provide any other scenarios?  Either there is purpose, or there isn’t.

This is what he missed.

Imagine a race of spaceless, timeless beings.  One of them, the equivalent of an eight-year-old boy, possesses the singularity which will become our Universe.  Perhaps it is a function of the non-space where he exists, that it occasionally spits out singularities.  Perhaps he found and kept it, like a fossil – or perhaps it’s a toy that his kindly uncle made for him.  He’s been told to keep it safe on a shelf, but accidentally knocks it off, and it falls to the floor and opens up into our known Universe.

Forget about those possibilities, and let our little extra-dimensional kid grow up a bit.

Now he needs a project, like a volcano, for science class.  He decides to build a little mathematical model to demonstrate the laws of physics within material matter.  As he is winding it up, he gets a little goo from a non-material pseudopod on it, and one of the perfect orbs develops life on its surface, like mold.

In the first scenario, the entity which caused our Universe to exist, was not the Creator.  There was no ‘Choice.’  There was no purpose!  In fact, it was an unintentional accident.  The Instigator can hardly be regarded as “God.”

In the second scenario, the Creator, and the Instigator, are the same Astral Squid – which still doesn’t qualify as “God.”  The act of creation, and the resulting Universe, are both intentional, but the creation of life – Us – has no purpose.  In fact, if the Nebulous Nerd knew that his science project was contaminated, he/she/it/they might want to polish the planet clean…. Oh, wait, that Noah flood wasn’t rain; it was Poly-dimensional Purell.

Well, now, the question should be: out of these two equally-weird explanations, which one is best supported by evidence, logic, and reason? Which one is more Possible, Plausible, and Probable? Which one is most believable?

Actually, the question is: which of these two equally-weird pairs of explanations is best supported by evidence, logic, and reason? Which one is more Possible, Plausible, and Probable? Which one is most believable?

I know that most Apologetics would dismiss my hypotheses as childish, but they both are as probable – likely more so – than either of his restrictive offerings.  If a rank amateur like me can easily come up with two alternatives, surely intelligent, educated scientists can come up with more, and better.

Religion

Silver Medal

I am desolate and devastated!  The Superhero of MY generation,

Lone Ranger

THE LONE RANGER

has been proven to be a fraud, a sham, fake news, with feet of…. well, not silver.

The story always was, that the cave that Tonto found him holed up in, turned out to be a silver mine.  The Lone Ranger used the silver to buy supplies, and make his bullets from.  Just how he found time to dig out and smelt the silver, when he was so busy ridin’, and shootin’, and generally saving the west, was never explained.  Perhaps he had Tonto’s undocumented relatives do it for minimum wage.

Tonto

Recently, I was ambling through an online science article, maintaining a brisk pace so that not too much of that learnin’ rubbed off on me, when suddenly I was stopped in my tracks.

Melting point of silver:  961.78°C (1,763°F)

WAIT!  WHAT??

The melting point of lead, to make bullets with, is only 327.50°C (621.50°F).  Hell, that stuff is so soft and ductile that you can almost mold it with your hands on a warm, sunny day.  Silver though, requires nearly three times the heat.  It’s not something that you just warm up like a skillet of beans over a campfire.  It requires somewhat sophisticated equipment, often more than merely a rustic, frontier forge.

How could I have missed that??!  Even the writer for the Canadian group, The Five Man Electrical Band understood it.  In their song, Werewolf, a father must melt a tiny, silver dinner bell into a musket ball, to kill a son who has gone Loup.  The lines of lyric read:

We went down to the blacksmith,
Got him out of bed, said, “Get your fire hot!”
We gotta close all the doors, shut up the shutters
We’re gonna need all the heat we got.

Even after you get it melted, this stuff don’t take to being cast in molds none too well.  The surfaces all have cavitations and spalling, making any bullets so non-aerodynamic, that he’d be more likely to shoot a passing buffalo, than the gun out of the hand of some cattle rustler.

I never saw him and Tonto, sitting around the fire at night, singing away, like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry.  Maybe because they were busy polishing those bullets smooth with their socks – if Tonto even wore socks.  😯  Aagghhh, he was probably just some rich dilettante from back East, who had his ammunition shipped to him, c/o Sitting Bull, by pony express.

A major portion of my childhood is/was not to be trusted.  😳  What’s next??!  Somebody will tell me that Aquaman can’t actually talk to sharks and whales?  😕  😀

No True Atheist

Koran

Like “No True Scotsman”, no “Real Atheists” can exist, because Nada insists that they would all kill themselves to escape the evils, ills and woes of life – among other foolish claims.

I say….
No ‘real Atheist’ would be fool enough to claim that it is impossible for God to exist. Only a few are arrogant enough to even insist that He does not exist. What Atheists have evidence of, is that your particular delusional description and definition of God does not, and can not, exist. The proof of that are the continued skeptical denials in the comments to your heated claims.

Thanks dear! I sincerely appreciate your reply and it got me curious. So what is the atheists’ conceptualization of God? And what’s the solid scientific evidence of such conceptualization? (P.S.: I did not actually present a description of God … but let’s assume I did anyway)

That’s it, Nada; push those goalposts back another 10 yards. Begin with the baseless assumption that they have one, and then demand not only a description, but scientific proof for something that Atheists don’t even believe exists.

I hesitate to speak for others, but I’ll try to explain Atheists’ conceptualization of God. It is very much like their conceptualization of Bigfoot, but with less hair; like fairies, without their tiny wings, much like their concept of leprechauns, but without the pot of gold.

It very much resembles the inside of a whiskey bottle, after you’ve drunk all the booze. There’s nothing there, but it distorts your perceptions, and makes you feel good.

I have heard, literally, hundreds of similar-but-different descriptions of God. Is yours like that of ‘Good Christians’, Catholic or Protestant? Does it resemble the Yahweh of Orthodox Jews? Does it agree with the Allah of observant Muslims? Heard all those and still don’t believe them. Is it like Joseph Smith’s, or L. Ron Hubbard’s, or even worse, Heaven’s Gate??! All sizzle – no steak! All claim – no proof!

If you have a definition which varies significantly from any of these, I would be most interested to hear it, likely entertained, and probably amused. 😳

So you’re saying that for atheists there’s a notion of a potentially existing God but it is also a mythical non-describable being that created all of this??!! Is that it? That’s what you prefer to and find logical to believe?
Please don’t misunderstand me for making fun, I’m genuinely bewildered

To sum up my thought: I find it incredibly bewildering that an atheist is willing to believe anything, any theory unproven yet, any ridiculous illogical argument for the non-existence of a proper All knowing Creator , but vehemently opposed to the possibility of a Creator.. it’s almost like they hate the idea with a vengeance despite all the good that may result from such a proposal, even if it was a myth that people chose to believe.

I too am genuinely bewildered. It must be all the unfounded assumptions, the sweeping claims and questions, and your tendency to put words in other people’s mouths. You ask about what Atheists think/do/feel/believe, as if they are all one cohesive bloc. There are as many opinions, as there are Atheists. The only thing that they all agree on, is that they have never been presented with a description of a God, potential or real, that they find believable. They do not find it logical, and their preference has nothing to do with it. No, I don’t ‘say that’, nor does any other real Atheist.

I am bewildered that you disapprove of Atheists supposedly believing unproven, “illogical” scientific arguments, but believe the idea of a personal God on blind faith. You don’t seem to understand the difference between the active pursuit of proof of the non-existence of God, (which can’t be done) and the passive lack of belief of claims that He does.

There are some few, usually not ‘Real Atheists’, but failed Christians, who desperately claim that He does not exist. Many Real Atheists that I know, would welcome His existence, and would have the honesty to accept Him. I mean, Who Wouldn’t? I would! – Salvation?? – Forgiveness?? – Heaven?? – Eternal Life?? There’s just that little sticking point of no real proof. The loudest of the Christian Apologists not only do not provide it, but, if you’d read my Dec. 11/19 30 Day Challenge, you’d see that some of them offer theories so crazy illogical, that disbelief is almost mandatory. 🙄

You expect me to believe that a universe that I even cannot see all of, let alone imagine its boundaries and content exists just like that… by itself.. no beginning… no instigating force… no management?

On a percentage basis, there are as many arrogant, deluded Atheists, as there are Theists. I don’t make any of the above claims. I don’t expect you to believe anything! I stated that my mind was open to evidence, and the chance of change. You clearly stated that I would not change your mind. For a self-avowed Science-lover, you seem disturbingly ill-informed. Your glass-of-water analogy shows that you don’t understand the concept of nascent properties.

Time and Space are inextricably interwound. Time only began when the hyper-dense singularity blossomed to become the Universe. Before that, it existed in a timeless, spaceless “place” where all happenings occurred simultaneously. Therefore, it could be infinitely old, yet have been ‘created’ yesterday.

The construction of your objection does not make your intent clear. Universe…. boundaries and content exists just like that The Universe is a brute fact, which must be accepted as is. It exists, and has existed, the way it does…. Because! Did you mean, ‘without an identified Creator’??

by itself.. There may have been previous Universes. Perhaps a property of that trans-dimensional space, is to occasionally shit out baby Universes. There may be an infinite number of co-temporal ‘Multiverses,’ but we can’t reach them to prove that they do, or do not, exist. Again, are you looking for a Creator?

no beginning… The ‘Beginning’ of the Universe was 13.78 Billion years ago, when the Big Bang caused the singularity to unfold, creating time and space. Before that, it was only an unrealized potential.

no management Why would it need management? The Universe possesses a number of immutable laws, which control the grand scheme. The very purpose of the variable minor details is to create change and improvement. If I plug in an electric alarm clock, it needs no management. I don’t have to reset the time each day. The Universe is not like a car, which needs to be constantly steered.

no instigating force… It is possible that an entity, existing in that non-space ‘space’ reached out a tentacle, and nudged the singularity, causing it to expand. The creature which ‘instigated’ the Universe may not have ‘created’ it. In any case, you are conflating the concept of a Creator, with a God, or in your case, Allah. Even if I specify to the existence of a being which created the Universe, I, along with many others, see no evidence of a personal God/Allah – no miracles, no answered prayers, no care or concern about what we eat, drink, think, believe, say, do, wear, or have sex with.

Double The Fun

Comedy

Yesterday, I went to my boss and asked, “Can I have next week off for Christmas?”
He said, “It’s MAY.”
“Sorry boss, MAY I have next week off for Christmas?”

***

My roommate claims that I’m schizophrenic….
….The joke’s on him. I don’t have a roommate.

Today is International Cannibal Day….
….Celebrate with a friend

My head says, Gym….
….My heart says, Nachos

My wife tripped and dropped a basket of freshly ironed clothes….
….I just sat back and watched it all unfold

I just bought a new mouse pad….
….That should stop them leaving footprints all over the kitchen

Kids don’t put anything back where they got it….
….unless it’s an empty cereal box

There are two times when a man doesn’t understand a woman….
….before marriage, and after marriage

A little boy asked his father, “How much does it cost to get married?”….
….Dad replied, “I don’t know. I’m still paying.”

The secret to a happy marriage remains a secret.
Henny Youngman

Marriage is the main cause of divorce.

Death and taxes are inevitable….
….but at least death doesn’t keep getting worse

What happens when two raindrops fall in love?….
….They become rain beaus!

A seal walks into a club….

I tried to pack myself into a small suitcase….
….I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself

My religious next-door neighbor worships exhaust pipes….
….He’s a Catholic converter.

My Mother-in-law fell down a wishing well….
….I was amazed. I didn’t know they worked

I’m on a vodka diet….
….I’ve lost three days already

I was never a fan of SpongeBob….
….I prefer dry humor

To the person who stole my glasses….
….I will find you. I have contacts

You should always hang out your laundry….
….otherwise it’s launwet

God moves in mysterious ways….
….but Bishops move diagonally

I have a new theory on inertia….
….but it doesn’t seem to be gaining momentum

I invented a new word….
….Plagiarism

People who live in glass houses….
….should think twice before making purchases

How do I feel about the Earth’s rotation?….
….It makes my day

A Thesaurus is great….
….There’s no other word for it.

I’ve decided to sell my vacuum cleaner….
….Well – it was just collecting dust

My Father suggested that I register for a donor card….
….He’s a man after my own heart

I had a great childhood. My Dad used to put me in a tire and roll me downhill….
….Those were the Goodyears

’20 A To Z Challenge – C

A To Z ChallengeLetter C

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technological obsolescence! It’s a term to describe things that we no longer do or own, because our rapidly accelerating science-driven lifestyle has replaced them with something newer, although not always better. (Remember Windows Vista?) 😯 We’re on generation 12 of Smart phones, and the Chinese are providing the 5G cell phone system to run them on, as well as COVID19.

The telephone operator lost her job when dial phones came into existence. The dials turned into push-buttons, and the push-buttons morphed into touch screens. The poor English language is having trouble keeping up with it all.

Let me introduce you, and then say good bye, to

CHIROSPASM

Spasm of the muscles of the hand, as in writers’ cramp.

Now there’s an expression that you don’t hear any more. It was common for hundreds of years, from religious monks inscribing Bibles, up to school children frantically composing essays for English class all desperately, tightly, clutching quills, pens and pencils, till their hands cramped.

Then, along came the electronic age, with its word-processors and keyboards. Archaic old chirospasm and writer’s cramp have been replaced by hunched-over-the-keyboard data-entry shoulders, and your cell-phone-toting grandson’s texters’ thumb.

Fortunately, I have never sprained or strained either of my middle fingers, the ones so necessary to communicate with taxi drivers and politicians. That would be the only physical disability which might affect my capacity to express myself, although I am just an amateur, compared to some of the old masters.

Salmon Arm Salute IISalmon Arm Salute

From his seat inside a private rail car during a vacation in Salmon Arm, BC with his children on August 8, 1982, Pierre Trudeau, then the Prime Minister of Canada, gave the finger to protesters in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, earning the incident the nickname the “Salmon Arm salute”. The gesture itself has also been nicknamed the “Trudeau salute.”

Trudeau

Our young drama teacher ski instructor Prime Minister learned at the knee of one of the (self-described) greatest.

Honest Discussion

Big Bang

Unlike many Christian Apologists, who can be very aggressive, argumentative and judgmental, this Christian lady just seemed to have an honest confusion and curiosity about non-believers. She seemed genuinely bewildered that non-believers’ actions, attitudes and opinions didn’t match what she had been brainwashed to expect. Of course, I felt that she was wrong about some of her assumptions, and blinded by her pre-suppositions, about others – so here we are again.

Why can’t the atheist accept what he can’t see for himself—at least when it comes to God. He can’t see gravity, but believes in it; can’t see black holes, but (most) would agree they exist.

When it comes to God, however, inferring His existence from the effect He has on life (which is how we know about gravity and black holes) is insufficient evidence.

The Atheist can see gravity’s direct effect, from dropping a pen, to black holes pulling stars into them, and there is a scientific explanation for all of it. The effects of God’s presence are only obvious to those who presuppose His existence, and every example offered has a natural explanation.

Some, of course, believe they have come to the only rational, intelligent conclusion possible, but that presupposes that the human mind can know all that is or is not in the vast cosmos.

You do not have to know everything, to have an opinion on one subject, even if it seems to be of cosmic proportions. Despite appearances, the argument is not usually about the existence of God, but rather, about the lack of convincing evidence for your definition.

Despite that uncertainty, atheists are certain God is not there. Life maybe; God absolutely not.

Despite that claim, the profound majority of Atheists do not believe that, nor do most of them claim that He does not exist. A small, vocal minority does, but there are ignorant, arrogant fools on both sides of the Bible.

I have reason to believe that the people holding to a strict 6 24-hour day for creation, are wrong.

Cherries

This is what is known as ‘cherry picking’ your arguments

So, you don’t believe what the Bible clearly says, but you want Atheists to believe it??! 🙄

(1)Steve, do you never ask the philosophical questions science cannot answer? Why are we here? Where are we going? What purpose does life serve? (2)Why do we think there’s a right and a wrong? You clearly do think there’s right/wrong as you demonstrate in this comment. (3) Where did your sense of truth come from? (4) Of morality? There are two things followers of the Bible have that those who reject God and the Bible do not have: a standard to go by and motivation to follow the standard. On and on. Science has nothing to say to these things.

(1) Damn, the woman wants infinity explained in a single comment. Of course, science can’t answer philosophical questions. So what??! Despite what she, and others, believes, neither can Religion. For Atheists to honestly say “I don’t know.” is not a mark of weakness. Steve and many others, have asked these questions. A surprising number of Atheists were once preachers/priests/ministers, or students in Seminary Colleges. Isaac Asimov once called the Bible “the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

(2) There is no right and wrong. What is right for me, is wrong for you. Evolution has taught us to consider outwards: self, family, clan, village, state, nation, world – and each level at a lower intensity. The greatest good for the greatest number. Do unto others what you would have done unto you. A little empathy, compassion, and consideration for others, helps to assure that the human species survives.

(3) “Sense of Truth” is like being a little bit pregnant – it either is, or it isn’t – and if it is, is should be provable. A claim that your religion, or your Holy Book, gives that to you, is quickly disproved by the existence of other religions, and other Holy Books, making the same claim.

(4) Morality is an invention of men who want to get paid to make you feel good that you are following their orders. Atheists, and other non-Christians, all have standards, and motivation to follow them. They just might not be exactly the same as yours, but there is no proof that your morals are the only/correct ones.

Her presupposition is that even Atheists believe in God, but reject Him, where most Atheists honestly do not believe that any such supernatural entity exists.

Science is merely the best methodology to investigate and explain reality. Just because many Atheists embrace and use it, does not mean that they do not also have Philosophical ways of explaining and dealing with these “Moral Problems.” It is not a panacea, as religion claims to be. It is just an effective one of many tools.

Stick With The One-Liners

Velcro

I bought some Velcro today….
….It’s a rip-off

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?….
….Pilgrims

Due to the quarantine….
….I’ll only be telling inside jokes.

Pill Case
This is the only way I know what day it is.

You should only argue with your wife….
….when she’s not around

Did you hear the joke about the rhetorical question?

Being told that I was going deaf….
….was very difficult to hear

If you think about it, it’s unfair….
….that only one company gets to make the game Monopoly

In college, I was so broke I couldn’t even afford to pay the electricity bill….
….Those were the darkest days of my life.

I woke up this morning to find that someone had dumped a load of Lego bricks on my front porch….
….I don’t know what to make of it

If my memory gets any worse….
….I’ll be able to plan my own surprise party.

My boss said that he’s going to fire the one with the worst posture….
….I have a hunch it might be me.

I’ve got this terrible disease where I can’t stop telling jokes about airports and bus stations….
….The doctor thinks it’s terminal.

When someone tells you to hold your horses….
….they’re telling you to be stable

Alcohol increases the size of the “Send” button by 89%

The shovel….
….was a ground-breaking invention

Some guy just tried to make a chemistry joke….
….He got no reaction.

I asked the librarian if she had any books on paranoia….
….She leaned in close and whispered, “They’re right behind you.”

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity….
….I can’t put it down

I lost 20% of my couch….
….ouch!

I thought about going on an all-almond diet….
….but that’s a little nuts.

I used to work behind the food counter at a theatre. If I had a dollar for every time a customer complained about the high prices….
….I could almost buy a small popcorn

When one door closes, and another opens….
….you’re probably in prison

If you’re sitting alone in public, and a stranger sits beside you….
….stare straight ahead and say, “Did you bring the money?”

To me Drink Responsibly….
….means Don’t spill it.

When I ask for directions….
….please don’t use words like “East.”

I keep asking what LGBTQ+ means….
….I never get a straight answer

My neighbor took me to court in a civil suit….
….I responded by going to court in a polyester suit

Flip Flop

What do you call a French guy, wearing sandals?….
….Philippe Philoppe

 

One Thing At A Time

Boxer

Battered, bruised and bleeding, the Christian Apologist scuttles forward. Desperate to level the debate playing field, and to achieve some validation, relevance and equivalency for his arguments, he claims, ‘Atheism Is A Religion.’

No, it’s not! We refuted that.

Well then, ‘Atheism Is A World-View.’

No it’s not! How dumb do you come??! The only reason that any two Atheists share a world-view, is that there are more Atheists than there are basic world-views.

Waaah! Atheists claim to be intellectual and logical, but they’re using emotion-based ridicule against Christians. (That emotion-based belief stuff should be reserved for the Christians.)

If you’d accept fact-based evidence, instead of dismissing it out of hand, we wouldn’t have to. We’re merely fighting fire with fire – or in this case, mud-slinging and name-calling. We know that you’re busy, campaigning for Trump. Atheism is only the lack of belief in God, or gods.

Frantic to have ANY handle to hang an argument on, the Apologist grasps at the word, ‘only.’ “Atheism must be more than ONLY!   Atheists believe in Science. Atheists accept the Theory of Evolution. Atheists claim that they have morals, and that they are ‘Good Without God.’ It must, somehow, be more than only.”

Hold on, cowboy. Climb down off your hobby-horse. One thing at a time!
What do you do for a living? Truck-driver? Are you only a truck-driver??! For example, you’re not a truck-driver and a guitar player – or a Jeopardy! fan? Do you have to be a Christian to be a trucker? Are all truckers Christians? Do all truckers hate faggots? Do all truckers feel that a wall should be built, to keep illegal aliens out? Are only truckers moral?

You can be Only about one issue, but still be very involved in many others, some of which are only vaguely connected to the one under consideration. Some Atheists believe in evolution. Some don’t. Some Christians believe in evolution. Some don’t. Some Atheists trust science. Some don’t. Some Christians trust science. Some don’t. Many Atheists are highly moral. A disappointing number of Christians aren’t.

Prove that Atheism is true.

There is so much semantic, social, emotional and Theistic baggage attached to that challenge, that I’m surprised the writer didn’t throw his back out, just wrestling it onto the screen. In attempting to prove equivalence, this Christian apparently thinks that Atheism has similar many and magnificent claims and beliefs that his religion does.

Compared to say, Christianity, the footprint of Atheism is small. It is only the lack of belief in the existence of God. On a personal basis, my Atheism is the rejection of all your bullshit claims. What do I believe? I believe that you are deluded and desperate. The mere fact that I write that, and make that statement, makes my Atheism true.

Many Apologists get so intense at winning the argument – at trying to prove Atheists wrong – that they forget what the original point of discussion was. DOES GOD EXIST, OR NOT??! Can you prove it? Even if, tomorrow, we found that everything that we think we know about The Big Bang and Evolution is wrong, (And, with the mountain of scientific results we have, that is vanishingly unlikely.) it still doesn’t justify a claim that God did it. One thing at a time.

Book Review #21

Once upon a time, a man purchased a book. It was

A Brief History of Time

The book: A Brief History Of Time

The Author: Stephen Hawking

The Review:
Through luck, and association with a particular social group, the man who purchased the book, later got to actually meet the great man, Stephen Hawking himself. He informed him that he had bought and read the book. Largely through Hawking’s handler, the man who guided his wheelchair and who had learned to interpret his minuscule movements, he was asked what he thought of the book.

He replied that he had not understood a word of it. Well…. He got words like a, to, at, the, and, but the rest were over his head like an umbrella. Hawking was surprisingly pleased by this, because it proved that the man had actually read it, even if he didn’t get it.

I tried to get a copy of this book from the library thirty years ago, when it was first published, but it was too popular, and I finally gave up. Recently I thought I’d have another go at it. Hawking’s writing style is pleasantly clear and easy. He claimed that he wanted to provide this information for the ordinary person. Your ‘Ordinary Person’ may vary. MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters won’t be forming book clubs to discuss it, nor will it be a hot topic at truck stops.

Even though I’m retired, I’ve kept up my dues to the United Nerds International Union. I was a good halfway through this small (214 page) book before I had to start checking terms and concepts. After the body of the book, Hawking included 2-3 page bios on the likes of Einstein, Galileo, and Newton, to show how their works and discoveries have provided the foundation for modern understanding of the universe.

For a book on time, Hawking spent the first several chapters discussing/explaining matter. Matter and Time are interwoven. You can’t have time without matter. When I was born, scientists had only recently discovered that molecules were made up of atoms. The Second World War brought us the A-Bomb – the atom bomb. A few years later, the thermonuclear hydrogen H-Bomb was produced. These showed that the atoms could be torn apart, and jammed together, made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

More powerful and delicate devices, like the CERN Collider, have shown that even these tiny building blocks are made of even tinier bits. Like strange little trouble-making Gremlins, they have names like quarks, muons, pions, mesons, leptons, tachyons, baryons, gravitons, and bosons. While they are too small to reflect light, fun-loving physicists label them as red, blue and green, and insist that they have ‘spin,’ based on how they react with each other, and reality.

Hawking eventually got around to explaining time – how it (so far) only flows in one direction, from past to future. He showed how it is subjective, and is influenced by mass, and speed of travel. I’ve run into most of these terms and concepts before, but it was nice to see them laid out so completely and clearly.

Ordinarily, with a book so nicely written and presented, I’d be recommending it, but not this one. For most of you, your only concern with time is that you arrive at work before the boss gets grumpy about your ETA. If Hawking’s successors are successful at using black holes to reverse the flow of time, you’ll never have to worry about that again.

There was a young lady from Bright
Who could travel faster than light
She set off one day
In a relative way,
And returned the previous night

This book is different – a niche market. Unless the checkout clerk down at Geeks R Us knows you by name, I suggest giving it a pass. Don’t pass up the chance to read my next post. It will be available in no time at all.

Flash Fiction #210

Success

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

FOCUS ON SUCCESS

Jacob attributed his ongoing academic – and hoped for, future –success, to his ability to compartmentalize and prioritize his mind; family here, sports over there, and social in the back corner.

He was aware of the hot chick in science class, with the top and shorts that were so tight that even he had trouble breathing, but he had a physics exam to write.

He didn’t understand just how he did it, and felt somewhat sorry for those who couldn’t – only somewhat. Many of them just didn’t seem to try. Achievement is obtained through Focus: straight A’s first then go swimming.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

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